Jesus is fulfillment and freedom Print E-mail
Sunday scripture column

Jem Sullivan

Sunday, Jan. 27


Neh 8:2-6, 8-10
Psalm 19:8-10, 15
1 Cor 12:12-30
Lk 1:1-4; 4:14-21

From our first waking moments to the end of the day, we are immersed in words, in written or spoken forms.

In Luke's Gospel, he begins by offering his reason for writing his Gospel. Luke wishes to share the "good news" of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection so that many will come to faith. His words aim to open hearts and minds, and invite faith to grow.

Luke goes on to describe one of many turning points in the ministry of Jesus. It is the moment when Jesus stood up in the synagogue on the Sabbath to read the words of the prophet Isaiah.

In that prophetic passage, Isaiah spoke of the one who is blessed with the Spirit of the Lord to bring good news to the poor, free captives, give sight to the blind, free the oppressed, and proclaim a year of favor from the Lord.

Jesus concludes the reading of this passage with words that must have astonished his listeners as he said, "Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing."

Jesus is the fulfillment of the law that Ezra the priest reads to the people of Israel in today's first reading.

In Jesus' life, death, and resurrection is the fullness of God's promise to free the world and each of us from sin and darkness, and to bring us into the freedom and light of divine love and mercy.

God's word unites what is divided and heals what is broken or wounded. We can always trust in God's word.

Even when we are surrounded by the incessant traffic of words in news and social media, we can choose to turn each day to the certainty of God's word for wisdom and light.

By drawing close to God's word, we fix our gaze on Jesus who fulfills our deepest desires for union with God and neighbor.

Jem Sullivan is secretary for Catholic education of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.